Harworth says underlying demand remains robust

Land regeneration firm Harworth Group said it delivered a number of key milestones across its portfolio in the first six months of 2020, despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harworth's AMP in Waverley

The Rotherham-based firm said underlying demand for its residential and industrial land remains robust, evidenced by recent sales to Wheelabrator Technologies at Skelton Grange in Leeds and to housebuilder Redrow in Leicestershire. It said both deals were achieved at, or above, book value.

It said this ongoing demand underpins its decision to prioritise capital expenditure on seven major development sites where agreed sales are in place for later in 2020 as well as progressing its infrastructure delivery programme to ensure that it has a pipeline of further sites ready for sale in 2021.

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Harworth said its income collection, generated from a predominantly industrial tenant base, is robust. As of today, 95 per cent of business space rent, including a small number of tenants making monthly payments, has been received for the June quarter date, broadly in line with both quarter 1 and its historical performance.

Income from the natural resources portfolio remains strong and ahead of both forecast and first half of 2019 receipts. The company's income base has also been strengthened through June's acquisition of the Thorns Road Industrial Estate in Dudley for £10m plus costs.

The company said its strong balance sheet, supported by an extension of its banking facilities in May, sales progress and supportive market fundamentals, means that it is well positioned to mitigate any short term market volatility and to take advantage of any land and property opportunities that arise as a result of present market conditions.